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Lynton and Lynmouth

Lynton and Lynmouth two villages near Exmoor


Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff RailwayLynton and Lynmouth, singularly villages but combined a town, is in North Devon, on the coast of the Bristol Channel, close to the border that Devon shares with Somerset. Often referred to as ‘Little Switzerland’, the two villages are separated by a 700 foot tall cliff, yet it is easy to get between the two thanks to the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway, built specifically for transportation up and down the cliff. Built in 1890, it is easily the town’s most famous attraction.

One thing which has previously brought Lynmouth to media attention was the flood of 1952, one of the worst of any kind in Britain. Fortunately the village was rebuilt with the river surrounding it, with beautiful countryside views in the background. The river itself is in fact made up of 2 rivers; the East Lyn and the West Lyn, which both combine together by the time it reaches Lynmouth. The East Lyn in particular is ideal for kayaking in. Another Lynmouth attraction is the Valley of the Rocks, an array of rocks which are popular for climbing and walking to, as their appearance is quite unusual. It also has plenty of shops to buy souvenirs in, and quaint cafes. Hardings Leather and Sheepskin store have their flagship established store in Lynmouth, selling quality leather and sheepskin clothing and products for years.

Lynton is a smaller village compared to Lynmouth yet also has quirky attractions. The first is the Parish Church of St Mary; while its tower has not been changed since the 13th century, the church itself has been altered many times over the centuries, illustrating a change in architecture as time goes on. Another is the Lyn and Exmoor museum, which showcases life in the area over the past 200 years. They include natural history items from Exmoor and items of home living in the village at the time, as well related material to the famous novel Lorna Doone, which was set in and around the Lynton area.

Of course, it is all just a short drive away from Exmoor National Park which Lynton and Lynmouth are part of,  and its location means that the rest of North Devon and Western Somerset is free to be explored without venturing too far away. For a quiet day out, and a few surprises along the way, Lynton and Lynmouth are perfect little towns.